News reports are saying that you will be coming to the Buffalo region to give a speech, possibly at the SUNY Buffalo Amherst Reservation (the Res). So, Welcome to the Niagara Frontier. From a security standpoint, this visit to the Res is probably a pretty good choice; that campus is very isolated from the rest of the region, and has the modern equivalent of moats around it (roads, lawn spaces). It is a campus designed to stay isolated from Buffalo, and one where it is almost impossible to have demonstrations or any kind of protest about anything.
Anyway, insuring your safety is the job of the Secret Service and unfortunately, there are some who want to make it a difficult task, so the Secret Service has a really tough job, and I don't envy them at all. But, they have done it for your term in office apparently in fine style so far, and we all wish them many, many years of continued success in their efforts. The weather also should be awesome for this part of the country when you stop on by - and please, stop by more often if you can - there is much to discuss, and we are a great example of "room for improvement" in so many aspects, ones which could be great learning moments for so many of us.
For example, if your travels take you past downtown Buffalo, you can see the mostly empty hulk of the biggest office building in Buffalo, the HSBC building, formerly the Maine Midland Bank building. HSBC stands for Honk Kong and Shanghai Bank, though it really is a British bank founded to make money on the Opium trade in China after the 2nd Opium War, where the British Empire made sure the Chinese Imperial government could not restrict the opium trade. Britain would grow this opium elsewhere in Asia/India, and made a lot of money selling opium and creating millions of addicts in China. This was not one of Great Britain's greatest moments. But HSBC has still not kicked its criminality habits, either. In the last decade, they laundered $650 billion of money obtained from illegal activities, and pocketed a 20% fee - mostly this was from the Iranians (oil money laundering) and from various Mexican "businesses" that double as organized crime gangs.
Odds are, few or none of the HSBC employees in Buffalo were involved in these schemes. But to date, a chump change fine of $1.9 billion has been extracted from this apparent highly organized crime outfit (HSBC), though no guilty plea was really achieved. And to date, no major executive (or all of them, as this was $130 billion in profits from laundering money (supposedly an illegal set of acts) over a 10 year period) has even done a perp walk, let alone been sentenced to at least a few years of serious prison time (no Club Feds…). And to date, we have a great example that crime really does pay, at least for some of the really well paid and nominally respectable members of our corpratocracy...
But while this HSBC profiteering involves some seriously big money crime associated with, for example, a nasty murder spree in Mexico, this really pales in comparison to the crime some of us humans are doing to our ecosystem/planet in a major way, and where a lot of us are doing bad things in "little ways", but ways which do add up. And one of the main reasons for this disaster in the making - enormous profits that are based mostly on oil, some on natural gas, some on coal, in so many ways. And we all know that a viable future (for humans, at least) rests on renewable, non-depleting energy, but when (after most of the oil is mostly consumed?) and the percentages of what particular kinds (wind, biomass, solar thermal, PV, tidal, etc) is still not well defined. But, the sooner the better. Rumor has it, there are boatloads of new jobs to be had if things get done right in swapping our pollution based society to a mostly non-polluting one. And around here, there is a serious lack of jobs, especially ones involved in making things that make the world a better place, so that employment aspect always piques the interest of many….
And if you were to be asked a set of related questions at this event on the Res, here's some that you probably are not expecting, but which, if the subject of them is implemented, might avert that crime of the new millennium - the trashing of our climate. Here's the questions:
You say that you are in favor of renewable energy, so why don't you submit legislation that would allow states to do Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) for their renewable energy pricing systems? After all, FITs deliver more renewable energy at lower cost than any other approach to date, deliver more job creation and more renewable energy innovation per billion invested, so why not go with what works? Why the fixation on pricing systems that, in comparison, are so inadequate, unfair, and disproportionately enrich the already obscenely rich? Why not go for what has a proven track record of success? Don't you like the feeling of success, of making the world a better place, and fast?
Oh well, best of luck, and I hope your visit also leaves people feeling better. In this day and age, even that is not an easy accomplishment.... Of course, if this vist was to actually amount to something…. oh well, a person can always, wish for the best, right?